Monday, June 20, 2016

Field of Graves ~ J.T. Ellison (earc) review [@thrillerchick @harlequinbooks @miraeditors]

Field of Graves (Taylor Jackson #8/Prequel)
June 14, 2016
368 pages
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All of Nashville is on edge with a serial killer on the loose. A madman is trying to create his own end-of-days apocalypse and the cops trying to catch him are almost as damaged as the killer. Field of Graves reveals the origins of some of J.T. Ellison's most famous creations: the haunted Lieutenant Taylor Jackson; her blunt, exceptional best friend, medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens; and troubled FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. Together, they race the clock and their own demons to find the killer before he claims yet another victim. This dark, thrilling and utterly compelling novel will have readers on the edge of their seats, and Ellison's fans will be delighted with the revelations about their favorite characters.

I think I like that Field of Graves is listed as both number eight in the Taylor Jackson series and as the prequel to the series. In a lot of ways, it really is both.

If, like me, you have already read the Taylor Jackson series, then Field of Graves gives you a look at how those characters you already know all came together. Since I finished reading the seven previous book in this series in 2012, I can't remember for sure how much of the beginnings of their stories we already knew, but this book let's you see it happen. I know we learned more about Baldwin in this book than, probably, in the other seven books combined. I liked his character before but always felt like he was on the periphery, how I feel more like I know him. (Which makes me like his character and what he's done in the other books - and in Sam's series - even more.)

If you have not already read the Taylor Jackson series books one through seven, or any at all, Filed of Graves will introduce you to the main characters, give you some of their background - like how long Sam and Taylor have been friends, what happened to Taylor's father, etc - all while having them solve a case. You can go into the other books already knowing who the characters are, their relationships with each other and some of what they've experienced.

I do not think that the case they're working to solve in this book or how they find clues, discover facts and piece it all together, was my favorite of the series (or the two if counting the Dr Samantha Owens books). That was very much balanced out, though, by the insight into the characters and getting more a look at their personal lives than it seemed like we did in other books. It is a great case for the story where Baldwin has as much involvement as he does.

I really loved learning more about the characters I already loved in the first seven books and getting a chance to revisit them with a new (of sorts) story. It was great seeing their beginnings, getting to know Baldwin better and seeing some more of that friendship between Sam and Taylor. (Plus, I realised reading it that I missed this Sam, from before. I do love her now, but I liked the reminder, too.)

I do still wish there would be more Taylor and Baldwin in Sam's series of books but this sort of flashback was great. It is a book you can read after reading the other Taylor Jackson books or one you can read to introduce yourself to the series. (And I love the series, so you really should read it.)

The only way it may not be the best book to read right now, is if you're trying to (or recently) quit smoking - there seemed to be a lot of characters who were quit, but then went back on it a bit.

. . . See my reviews of the Taylor Jackson series #1-#7 and the Dr Samantha Owens series #1-#4 . . .

received, for review, form publisher via NetGalley

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